The only organization where professionals interested in all aspects of industrial relations and
human resources come together to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues and practices in the field.


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The Industrial Relations Research Association was established in 1948. In December of that year, local members founded the Washington, D.C. Chapter.  Click here to read more history. 


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

From the Mines to Your Smartphone –
The Hidden Costs Workers Pay

A talk by
Todd Frankel

Staff Writer
The Washington Post

Please join us to hear Todd Frankel discuss his hard-hitting feature series of dodging secret police to investigate mining cobalt in the Congo, lithium in Argentina and networks of smelters in China. His new wave of investigative journalism uses video clips of miners descending into narrow crevices, photographs of Chinese buyers, and graphics of world-wide trade networks of “conflict minerals” to tell the stories of men, women and children with appalling health problems laboring in harsh and dangerous working conditions to support the complex supply chains through which cobalt, lithium and other minerals end up in our computers, smartphones and electric vehicles.

Todd C. Frankel is an enterprise reporter for the Financial desk at The Washington Post, where he has covered a range of topics, from abusive mining conditions in Congo to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, as well as how Silicon Valley innovation reverberates across the country. His stories have been recognized with top honors from the National Headliners Award, American Society of Newspaper Editors and Society of Professional Journalists. A Washington native, he previously worked at newspapers in St. Louis and Charleston.

·        Sign-in opens at 11:30 - Light lunch begins at 12 noon. Presentation and discussion: 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Price: $15 – Click on the button below to pay at PayPal with a PayPal account or credit or debit card.

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      Walk-ins OK: But please email your name and affiliation to Jackie Brown at so we can order enough food.
Venue: Solidarity Center – Suite 800 at 1130 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC located two blocks south of the Red Line Metro Station at Dupont Circle and two blocks north of the Red Line Farragut North Station. The Farragut West Station (Orange, Silver) is one block farther south. Landmark – The “Chocolate Chocolate Shop ”is next to the main entrance of the building.

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The DC LERA is on the cusp of tidal changes in national labor policies. Battles between powerful political forces in Washington will determine the future of work for decades to come. We are a non-partisan forum in Washington where these conflicting ideas and ideologies coexist.
We sponsor a series of monthly luncheons on crucial economic, legal, and social issues in employer–employee relations. Thanks to our location, DC LERA draws support from the Washington policy community, with members and speakers from government, universities, unions, think tanks, and policy advocate organizations. Our luncheon programs offer great opportunities for labor rela­tions professionals, union leaders, policy special­ists, scholars, and students to express their views, enrich their knowledge and expand their networks.
A special dimension of DC LERA’s program is international labor relations. We are honored and privileged that representatives of Washington’s diplomatic delegations are active participants in our Chapter. They learn, but they also give back. Attachés and counselors give us inside views of labor relations in Asia and Europe.
We invite you to join us in this fascinating journey. You can join or renew by clicking here. Questions? Please send an email to Pat McHugh at  Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to seeing you at our great events!  Your tax adviser should confirm that your payment is tax deductible as dues paid to a non-profit professional association.
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Please click here for more information about sponsorships of DC LERA and how to sign up.



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If you missed the January meeting...

Labor Confronts a New Era: Why US Unions Face an Existential Crisis, and What They Can Do to Meet It, A Symposium Led by Joseph McCartin, Professor, Georgetown University and Director, the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor

A 2016 Recap...

The 2016 Election – What It Means for Workers and Unions with guest speaker Harold Meyerson, Executive Director, The American Prospect. Click here to learn more...
Why the 2016 Election Will Be Historic Game Changer for Working Women with guest speaker Dr. Lane Windham, Fellow in Residence, Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative
for Labor and the Working Poor
. Click here to learn more...


The Rise of the Conservative War
on Unions and Civil Rights
with guest speaker

Tula A. Connell, Ph.D.,
Senior Communications Officer Solidarity Center. Click here to learn more...


Trump, Sanders and the Politics of Revolt with guest speaker Harold Meyerson, Executive Director, The American Prospect.  Click here to learn more...
Trade, Jobs and Wages with guest speaker Robert E. Scott, Senior Economist and Director of Trade and
Manufacturing Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute. Click here to learn more...

Organizing for Greater 
Economic, Racial and Social Justice
with guest speaker Prof. Marilyn Sneiderman, Professor, Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations / Director, Center for Innovation in Worker Organizations. Click here to learn more...